I laughed painfully when I read this quote about the narrator's ineffective mother at the start of "The Third Policeman". This sums up perfectly what I do now, with only two days teaching in the week and the whole house crying out for attention! It was also an unwittingly ironic precursor to the routine into which my Lent has fallen.
It started when I told the Wondrous Catherine that I was going to sit outside every day in March and drink a cup of tea, zealously intending to escape the domestic madness within and spend a few precious moments listening to the birds, now returned from warmer winter climes. Which sort of became a notion that it could be a Lent thing, and maybe the listening could be to God as well. Tea and Lent- they are, after all, two of my favourite things!
And thus was Outside Tea in Lent born! A farcebook friend decided she would do something different with chocolate (apart from giving it up) every day in Lent, and this is why you maybe see lots of pictures of mugs and dessert dishes on my daily feed! After that people started asking questions- what was it for, what was the idea, could they drink Outside Tea with me?
Today I did meet someone for Outside Tea. Today the wind is groaning down the chimney and the rain is lashing the daffodils into horizontal submission. Today we didn't even sit in the semi-al fresco shelter of the doggy porch- we sat inside wallowing in the central heating and watching the puddles rise up to meet the misty lough!
Last week, also on farcebook, which I might add I find mostly very useful, Our Daily Bread posted this picture:
And this is what Outside Tea in Lent is about. I might get to a late point in the day and think- oh good, I haven't had my Outside Tea today. I wrap myself up and sally forth. Sometimes I do read and pray and think. Sometimes I just listen to the soundtrack of my life: the birds, the husband, the boys, the friend. I'm hoping that by the end of Lent it will have forged a habit that gets to a late point in the day and thinks- oh good, I haven't had my great big dose of God's love and voice today. I'll wrap myself up and sally forth. I'd recommend it! And if you're within Outside Tea distance, pm me on farcebook!